Entertainment, Health and Lifestyle

A Guide to Storing Apples at Home Fresh and Delicious

Apples are a versatile fruit that are as nutritious as they are delicious. In season, apples are among the cheapest option in the produce department. The smart move is to load up to enjoy them for weeks or even months, and until next peak season. How and where can we store apples to extend the amount of time to enjoy before they turn soft, mushy and inedible? With a few simple strategies, you can extend the shelf life of apples to the max, making certain they stay fresh and crisp until consumed.

In this column, I will provide you with valuable tips on how to store apples at home for enjoyment long after the season has passed — and to stop throwing out rotten produce!


To store apples successfully, it’s important to start with high-quality fruit. Here are some key considerations when selecting apples you will not be consuming right away.

— Variety matters. Choose apples with a long storage life. Some popular apple varieties known for their excellent storage capabilities include Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Fuji and Braeburn.

— Optimal ripeness. Select apples that are slightly underripe. Overripe apples are prone to spoilage and can accelerate the decay process of other fruits in storage.

— Inspect for damage. Avoid apples with bruises, cuts, or any signs of damage. Damaged apples are more susceptible to rot and can quickly affect nearby apples.


Proper storage conditions play a vital role in preserving the freshness and flavor of apples. Here’s what you need to know:

— Temperature. Apples should be stored in a cool environment, ideally between 30 to 35 F (0 to 2 C). Avoid freezing temperatures, which can cause the apples to become mealy.

— Humidity. Maintain a moderate level of humidity, around 90%. This prevents the apples from losing moisture and becoming dehydrated.

— Ventilation. Good airflow is crucial to prevent the buildup of ethylene gas, which accelerates ripening. Ensure the storage area allows for proper ventilation.


Now that you know the ideal storage conditions, let’s explore the different storage options available:

— Refrigerator. Store apples in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Keep them away from other fruits and vegetables, as apples release ethylene gas, which can cause premature ripening and spoilage.

— Root cellar. If you have a root cellar or a cool basement, you can store apples in perforated plastic bags or wooden crates. Make sure to check them regularly for any signs of spoilage.

— Wrapped. Individually wrap apples in paper (newspaper is a good option) or place them in single-layer trays to prevent direct contact between fruits. This helps prevent the spread of spoilage if one apple goes bad.


If you have a surplus of apples or want to store them for an extended period, consider the following long-term storage techniques:

— Freezing. Peel, core and slice the apples, then blanch them briefly in boiling water before freezing. This process helps maintain their texture and flavor. Store the frozen slices in airtight containers or freezer bags.

— Canning. Preserve apples by canning them as applesauce, pie filling or apple butter. Follow proper canning procedures to ensure food safety and longevity.

— Dehydration. Slice apples thinly and dry them in a food dehydrator or an oven at a low temperature (140 to 150 F, or your oven’s lowest temp) until they become crispy. Store the dehydrated apples in airtight containers in a cool, dark place.


Q: How long can I store apples in the refrigerator?

When stored properly in the refrigerator, apples can stay fresh for up to two to three months.

Q: Can I store apples with other fruits and vegetables?

It’s best to store apples separately from other fruits and vegetables, as apples release ethylene gas, which can accelerate the ripening and spoilage of nearby produce.

Q: How do I know if an apple has gone bad?

Look for signs of decay, such as soft spots, mold or a fermented smell. If an apple is visibly rotten, discard it to prevent further spoilage.

Q: Can I store apples at room temperature?

While apples can be stored at room temperature for a short period, they will last longer when stored in the refrigerator or a cool, dark place.

Q: Is it necessary to wash apples before storage?

It’s generally recommended to wash apples right before consuming them, rather than before storage. Washing can remove the natural, protective waxy layer, making the apples more prone to spoilage.


By following the tips outlined above, you can be certain that your apples stay fresh and delicious for an extended period. Remember to select the right apples, provide optimal storage conditions and consider long-term storage techniques, if necessary. Take these simple steps and you will be enjoying the flavors and nutritional benefits of apples throughout the year.

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Mary Hunt

Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaycheapskate.com/ . This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

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